Boys Basketball: Hubs returning to the hardwood

Junior Garrett Burdin (right) leaps underneath the outstretched hand of sophomore Zach Sanford (left) during scrimmage games this past week. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Rochelle boys taking the court for offseason summer work

ROCHELLE — For many student-athletes at Rochelle Township High School, action doesn’t stop regardless of the time of year. With the summer offseason in full swing, members of the Rochelle boys basketball program took advantage by competing in the team’s annual high school camp, which tipped off this past week.

“The summer really helps us build our culture and it helps us figure out what our team will look like during the season,” head coach Tim Thompson said. “The kids can work on things they need to do to be successful. We can work out what types of offense and defense we can run to help our kids be successful. We’re doing a lot of shooting and a lot of skill development.”

Younger campers, like incoming freshmen, worked through fundamental skills including dribbling, crossovers, footwork, passing and shooting while also learning the RTHS basketball terminology. Returning campers, such as sophomore, junior and senior players, reviewed their fundamentals and refined skills like low-post play, 1-on-1 moves, screening and more. Players will be competing on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. until July 28.

“It’s important for the kids to get a feel for what we want to do moving forward,” Thompson said. “Getting out and playing the game while getting a feel for their teammates is huge for them. It’s going to hurt losing key seniors like we did this past year, but we got a lot of minutes out of our returning guys who have played varsity basketball.”

The Hubs will also be playing in the Rockford East Summer League this year, facing local opponents including Byron, Sycamore and more. Overall, Thompson and his staff are looking for their players to show growth this summer and enter the 2019-20 season with momentum instead of rust.

“I want to see the kids limit their turnovers and show they can do the little things like boxing out and shooting with confidence,” Thompson said. “The wins and losses make zero difference before we begin our basketball season in November… The summer allows the kids to get a feel for each other, and they can raise their confidence so they’re ready to go during the winter.”

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